Skip to content

About Dr Michelle Cordingley

Michelle studied for a BSc in Biochemistry at the University of York. Whilst at York, Michelle undertook a summer internship at the Centre for Immunology & Infection studying ‘The role of CD40-CD154 signalling in the development of Foxp3+ regulatory T cells’.

Having completed her undergraduate degree, Michelle studied for an MSc in Biomedical Science at the University of Chester. It was during this masters course that Michelle developed a keen interest in research and chose to pursue a PhD at the University of Chester. Michelle completed her doctorate in 2018 with a thesis titled ‘The role of mitogen-activated protein kinase signalling pathways in leukemic cell death’.

Whilst studying for her PhD, Michelle became actively involved in teaching and worked as a Visiting Lecturer for the University of Chester for a number of years. She joined Chester Medical School as a Lecturer in Biomedical Science in 2018 and previously led the MSc Biomedical Science programme. Michelle is passionate about teaching and supporting learning and she also works as a University Innovation Fellow aligned to the Faculty of Health, Medicine & Society. Michelle is also a personal academic tutor (PAT) and mental health first aider.


Michelle is module leader for the following modules:

•             MD4010 Professional Skills for Life Sciences I

•             MD6000 IBMS Conversion

•             MD7004 Current Issues in Biomedical Science

Michelle is involved in teaching on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate biomedical /medical science modules delivered by Chester Medical School. Recent modules which Michelle has taught on include:

•             MD4002 Cell Biology

•             MD5027 Professional Skills for Life Sciences II

•             MD5018 Diagnostics & Therapeutics  

•             MD5034 Professional Skills for Biomedical Science

•             MD6037 Cell Signalling

•             MD6029 Dissertation

•             MD7001 Evidence Based Medicine

•             MD7100 Research Dissertation

Michelle also supervises and supports both undergraduate and postgraduate students through their dissertation research projects.


Cell signalling is a critical process involved in co-ordinating a range of cellular processes. Deregulation of complex signalling networks underpins the molecular basis of many diseases, including cancer. Understanding which signalling pathways are deregulated, and the ways in which these pathways are changed, will provide a greater insight into the mechanisms involved in carcinogenesis. It is also important to understand how signalling pathways are altered in response to chemotherapy. Targeting signalling pathways in cancer is of great therapeutic value.

Michelle’s current research focuses on gaining a greater understanding of the role of a particular class of signalling pathways, the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling pathways in leukemic cell death. Whilst it appears to be well established that the constitutive activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signalling mediates leukemic cell survival, the roles of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 pathways in leukemogenesis, in particular the role in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), are less well understood.

Michelle has shown in her PhD work that the roles of the JNK, p38 and ERK signalling pathways in leukemic cell death are stimuli-specific. This highlighted the importance of understanding the role of these pathways in response to specific chemotherapeutic agents, in order to provide effective leukaemia therapy. Michelle’s current research is interested in how the JNK and p38 pathways are involved in the response of leukemic cells to leukaemia therapies such as doxorubicin and vincristine, and how this compares to non-leukemic cells.  


  • PGCert in Learning & Teaching in Higher Education, University of Chester, 2021
  • PhD, Chester Medical School, University of Chester, 2018
  • MSc Biomedical Science, University of Chester, 2013
  • BSc Biochemistry, University of York, 2012


Professional Body Membership

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Fellow of Institute of Biomedical Science (MIBMS)